So time and time again America is ranked as being the fattest nation in the world. I mostly whole heartedly and sadly as an American agree, but sometimes I've questioned it to some extent, how can we be so fat with so many great gyms? We have so many great athletes and at least in certain areas I go out and about to, I only see fit people. Well I uncovered the truth. The CDC actually defines obesity by a scale known as BMI, or Body Mass Index... I would rather refer to it as the Bullsh-+ Mass Index. The mass index is extremely skewed and does not account at all for muscle! It only accounts for averages of people that do not train! In a recent health assessment a scale similar to BMI rated me as being overweight and said I needed to lose 30-40 pounds!!! If I lost 40 pounds I do not think I could remotely function in the same role in the fire department as I do now.
With over 100,000 great gyms in the United States, I wonder based on BMI what % of the population is legitimately over weight, and what percentage of the population just hits the gym hard, and trains to the intensity where for he or she, BMI has graded us as being "Overweight." And hold on especially for the girls reading BMI gets even better... Although women naturally have more body fat then men (don't worry it's for boobs and hips, which of course we men love), the BMI formula is the same for women as it is for men!!! If a fit man and a fit woman are the same exact height and weight, the female should naturally be carrying more fat tissue, but BMI doesn't even account for this! Here's a list of some other American people you may have heard of that the BMI scale rate as being overweight, or even obese...
Brock Lesnar (UFC)- morbidly obese
Lebron James (NBA)- overweight, borderline obese
Adrian Peterson (NFL)- overweight
Alex Rodriguez (MLB) - overweight
Jeremy Lin (NBA) - overweight
Dwayne Johnson "The Rock" (film star) - morbidly obese
Tim Howard (US Soccer) - overweight
Michael Jordan (retired NBA) - overweight
Jay Cutler (4x Mr. Olympia) - morbidly obese
Stone Cold Steve Austin (pro Wrestler) - mobidly obese
Arnold Schwarzenegger (at peak condition for Olympia training) obese
Phil Heath (Current Mr. Olympia) - morbidly obese
Ryan Lochte (Olmypic medalist Swimmer) - overweight
Peyton Manning (NFL) - overweight
Tim Tebow - (NFL) - overweight, borderline obese
It's a shame that some of my friends who have worked out for years and even won bodybuilding titles, actually have to sacrifice muscle now for life insurance assesments, all because of the BMI index! So for realistic measures of obesity, use body fat percentage scales, tape measurements, the mirror, and of course, common sense!
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, consult a doctor or medical professional before beginning any diet, fitness, or weight training program.